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Face to face

astragal

A postscript to the Venice Biennale appeared in the New York Observer, to which I am indebted for this extract: on 12 September, Suzanne Stephens, a special correspondent for Architectural Record, was boarding Delta Airlines flight 145 travelling back to New York from the biennale. She found she was seated in the same middle row as 56-year-old former architecture critic of the New York Times Herbert Muschamp.

Stephens is author of the justpublished Imagining Ground Zero: The Official and Unofficial Proposals for the World Trade Center Site. She and Muschamp came to blows earlier this year, when Stephens tried to include in her book architects who had contributed to a special issue of the New York Times Magazine that pulled together plans for the World Trade Center site, and which Muschamp had curated, without speaking to him. Fellow New York Times reporter Julie Iovine was seated one row behind. According to Stephens, upon realising the pending seating, Muschamp turned to her and declared: 'Would you mind switching seats with Julie so I don't have to look at your fucking face?' To which Stephens said she retorted: 'Certainly, and may you rot in hell!' The verbal volleys drew the attention of nearby passengers, according to sources on the flight. A woman from Croatia jumped up and said:

'Well, it looks like you all know each other.' Oh dear!

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